The Dreams Of Mice And Men

1174 words - 5 pages

Dreams, even those that are unrealistic, encompass and motivate everyone. In the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck each main characters possess their own dream to propel them forward and each of these dreams are cleverly utilized by Steinbeck to present his theme of the great depression ripping dreams asunder. In order to determine whether the major dreams were destroyed, one must analyze what each dream was, the realistic possibilities, the motivation for each and the opposing forces. George and Lennie’s dream of a future life seems quite possible as they are motivated and are close to their goal; however upon closer inspection it the impossibility of their quest is discovered. The second major dream Curley’s wife’s dream is presented as a failure and after investigation the reader comprehends why. Thus, each of the important dreams feature senses of reality due to their necessity to the character, but are easily suspended as the characters continue their path in life.
Protagonist George and antagonist Lennie share a powerful friendship formed when they were children who played together, and at the center of this friendship is a dream. Their dream is created due to their yearn for their own place, something which Crooks, the stable boy, points out as “Never seen it before” (Steinbeck 62) despite his years of working on farms. Their wish for a new home, their own, also spurns from their despise of not being dependent on someone for an occupation, as they would rather be their own boss, as George says, “An’ no one will tell us what to do” (Steinbeck 81).However, this dream is necessary to both of them even more as it would become a sanctuary for Lennie, the main character who due to mental retardation is unable to cope with situations in the world maturely and sensibly. This dream which George describes simply as “We’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and – an’ live off the fatta the lan’ ” (Steinbeck 34) would provide a refuge, a safe exclave from the world. This dream unites them and impels them to work at ranches in order to get sufficient money. It propels them despite George believing that they won’t ever reach it as they will never attain the necessary money because Lennie causes them to move jobs.
However, this changes when George and Lennie recite their dream and a character named Candy overhears. Candy asks to join, and convinces the hesitant George by offering 350 dollars, which would only make George and Lennie make 100 dollars, equivalent to 1 month’s work. This addition quickly changes George’s perspective on the dream and he tells Candy reverently “I bet we could swing her [referring to the owners of the property]” (Steinbeck 80). This sudden change in the dream brings it closer to reality and George and Lennie become even more excited. Later in the story Lennie introduces the dream to Crooks, who responds by saying “I’d [Crooks] come and lend a hand” (Steinbeck 86) in an effort...

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